Bloomberg Attempts To Ban Use Of Food Stamps for Soda

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Photo: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

In an effort to combat obesity, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson are joining forces to try and ban New York residents from being able to use their food stamps on sugar-sweetened drinks. The men submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wednesday night to add sugary drinks to the list of items that cannot be purchased with food stamps (which includes alcohol and cigarettes). Bloomberg asked for a two-year ban to study whether or not it would have a positive impact on health. About 1.7 million of the city’s 8 million residents are currently on food stamps, a number which has risen more than 35 percent in the past couple of years, in line with national trends. “In spite of the great gains we’ve made over the past eight years in making our communities healthier, there are still two areas where we’re losing ground — obesity and diabetes,” the mayor said in a statement. “This initiative will give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment.”

New York Asks to Bar Use of Food Stamps for Sodas [NYT]
NY seeks to ban sugary drinks from food stamp buys [AP]